Jowita Budnik (Anna Keller)
Born in Warsaw in 1973. Graduated from the Institute of Applied Social Sciences of the University of Warsaw. At the age of 11, in 1985, she made her screen debut in a supporting role in Radosław Piwowarski’s acclaimed My Mother’s Lovers / Kochankowie mojej mamy (1985). A student of Halina and Jan Machulskis’ famous Theater Group at the Ochota Theater in Warsaw, she later collaborated with various prestigious theater scenes in Warsaw, like the Ochota Theater, Powszechny Theater, Prezentacje Theater, Kamienica and the Studio.
She starred in numerous highly popular TV series, such as A River of Lies / Rzeka kłamstwa (1987); In the Labirynth / W labiryncie (1988–1990); Transforming Machine / Maszyna zmian (1995); Mothers, Daughters, Lovers / Matki, żony i kochanki (1995–1998); Kate & Tom / Kasia i Tomek (2002–2003); or L For Love / M jak miłość (2000–2017), as well as feature films, including Slawomir Fabicki’s Retrieval / Z odzysku (2005), Wojciech Pacyna’s Never Say Never / Nigdy nie mów nigdy (2009), Katarzyna Rosłaniec’s Baby Blues (2012), Michał Otłowski’s Jeziorak (2014) or Anna Kazejak’s The Promise / Obietnica (2014). Since the late 1990s she has been collaborating with Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze on all of their films, starting with Big Deals / Wielkie rzeczy (2000) and The Debt / Dług (1999), continuing with the award-winning My Nikifor / Mój Nikifor (2004), and the leading roles in Saviour Square / Plac Zbawiciela (2006) that brought her the Best Actress prizes at the Gdynia FF, the Polish Film Academy’s Eagle prize, and the Valladolid IFF Best Actress Award; Papusza (2013), awarded in Karlovy Vary, Valladolid, Thessaloniki, Pune and Istanbul; and recently Birds Are Singing in Kigali / Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (2017).
Eliane Umuhire (Claudine Mugambira)
Rwandan actress, director, model and contemporary dancer born in 1986 in Kigali, Rwanda. In 2009 she joined Mashirika Performing Arts and Ishyo Arts Centre, where she creates and performs until today. She also writes and directs her own plays, such as Syrian and Burundian Monologues. Eliane is an ambassador of peace and reconciliation, and most of her work revolves around the preservation of the memory of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis, and participating in the reconstruction of the Rwandan society and local communities.
Eliane joined the movie industry with supporting character roles in such films as Things of the Aimless Wanderer by Kivu Ruhorahoza and Behind the World by Clementine Dusabejambo, both of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She later landed one of the leading roles in Birds Are Singing in Kigali by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzystof Krauze, premiering at the Karlovy Vary IFF 2017.